On April 22, 2020, people all across the globe will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day was observed on April 22, 1970, making this the 50th anniversary of the event. Each year, the event has a different theme and this year is no different. The Earth Day theme this year is climate action.
As per the Earth Day website:
The enormous challenge — but also the vast opportunities — of action on climate change have distinguished the issue as the most pressing topic for the 50th anniversary. Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.
Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, this year’s Earth Day celebrations will be digital while still taking meaningful actions and promoting conversations and calls to action. There will be an Earth Day Live event with discussions and calls to action from climate activists, celebrities and leaders, including Al Gore, Pope Francis, John Kerry and Bill Nye.
The Challenges & Opportunities With Taking Climate Change Action Are the Most Important Topic Today
For the 50th anniversary of the event, the topic of the day will be climate action because of its massive potential and opportunities. As the event site states, “Climate change represents the biggest challenge to the future of humanity and the life-support systems that make our world habitable.”
As the Earth Day website points out, nations are expected to increase their commitments to the 2015 Paris Agreement by the end of 2020. Citizens of every country are urged to call on their governments to be more ambitious and urgent with their goals. The statement continues:
Earth Day 2020 will be far more than a day. It must be a historic moment when citizens of the world rise up in a united call for the creativity, innovation, ambition, and bravery that we need to meet our climate crisis and seize the enormous opportunities of a zero-carbon future.
The Earth Day Network president, Kathleen Rogers, said that the progress countries are making has slowed down while the impacts of climate change are greater now. She adds that the current situation in the world means that a unified response is necessary, and the goal of Earth Day 2020 is to focus on creating the next generation of climate and environmental activists all over the world.
Earth Day First Started on April 22, 1970 & Launched the Environmental Movement
The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970, when 20 million Americans, 10 percent of the country’s population, filled the streets in protest at environmental inaction and climate disasters such as oil spills, smog and polluted rivers. College campuses and cities all over the country saw protests which launched the modern environmental awareness movement.
After the first day of action in 1970, some key environmental laws were passed, like the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was also created as a response to the first Earth Day. Other countries also experienced similar civic actions, making Earth Day a truly international event.
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